She stiffened. Eight men leaned into the cold spring wind, carrying the bronze casket past her. All of them she knew well. None of them looked at her as they passed, carrying their heavy load up the incline into the church.
Kathleen felt a horrible dread. She knew instinctively how this day would go, yet for some unexplainable reason she felt the necessity to see the finish of Scott Buckley.
She brushed a tear away, angry that it might be taken by others as a show of grief. She turned to her mother and cousin.
“Maybe the pain will go away if I do this, stand through this agony of hearing what a wonderful man he was. God! Why did I put up with it?”
Charley’s face was hard as he looked at the pious-looking men carrying Scott’s remains. “Maybe we should go, Kathy. You don’t need to go through this farce.”
But she did, and she knew it. Kathleen shook her head, and her eyes were bright, unflinching. She grabbed Charley by the arm and then put her arm around her mother, and together they walked up the sidewalk and into the foyer of the church.
The smell of incense seemed to seep from the thick adobe walls. It was a sickening sweet smell, always reminding Kathleen of the difficulties of life as a Roman Catholic: walking into the confessional with the sin of hatred for her husband seeped into her soul, dreading telling the priest the same sin over and over again.
Long before the attack she gave up, both with the church and with Scott. Her husband didn’t believe in marital counseling; he was wary of anyone in town knowing his marriage to Kathleen was less than it appeared, including the family priest.
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